Monthly Archives: July 2010
5 tips to find your first IT contract
1. Get your CV right
Many contractors CV’s aren’t ever read. Why? Because CV’s are scanned electronically and therefore need to be optimised for database searches (used by many agencies) and for employment decision makers.
Your CV needs to show what skills you have and why you’re the best person for the job. Remember that the structure of UK CV’s may be different from what you’re used to. BITE advisors work with you to tidy up your CV and to present your skills in the best possible way. All CV’s are tailored to individuals, you don’t just put your name on a template! Most importantly keep it simple, 2 -3 pages only.
2. Send your CV to the right people
You might have a perfect CV and a unique skills set, but unless it reaches key employment decision makers you’re unlikely to find a contract. In the UK there are 1000′s of Agencies specialising in all sectors. You need to work hard to address your CV to the relevant industrial decision makers, by researching over the phone and internet. At BITE Consulting we have close ties with many agencies and work together with them helping them fill their vacancies.
BITE will also distribute your polished CV to our network and place them on a free sourcing website. www.getitstaff.co.uk
3. Evaluate your skills and find your rate
Rates for contractors are generally higher then rates for the equivalent permanent jobs. There are several reasons for this, for example the contractor loses benefits of sick pay and don’t get holiday pay but they have the flexibility to work with different companies and as experience grows so does pay! In short contractors have less security but more scope. At the same time the employer is not tied into a long term employment relationship because contracts end at some point. They have the option of renewing it only if they want.
So how do you know what your worth? That’s tricky, factors such as your experience and current market trends all affect the rate you should be on. Ultimately your market rate is determined by supply and demand, varying week by week. A BITE careers advisor will help you asses your skills against market rates and advise you on what you can charge and help you negotiate your contracts.
Its not just for the first contract either, the BITE advisors will always be around to help you discuss your rates, providing you with valuable information about market trends and how to continue advancing your contracting career.
4. Start applying for jobs
Ok so now you have a polished CV and it’s reached a recruiter or agent, you know what you should be getting paid. How do you get picked from the countless other applicants? You need to stand out from the crowd in amongst the fog of CV’s and applicants. There’s not just one thing, but a series of important steps that you must take to be at the top of the list. What are the steps? That’s a trade secret. You’ll have to join BITE to get that answer!
Because contracting is not like permanent employment there’s an art and rhythm to all steps, from writing a CV to interviews and negotiating contracts. With BITE’s years of experience in the IT sector you can progress your career and earnings significantly
5. At the interview
Dress smart and be there on time. That’s a given but what about all the other little things? How are you going to secure the job? BITE’s interview and training plan to success will provide you with as much or as little training as you need. Don’t forget that as a contractor you will often have telephone interviews before one that’s face-to-face. It can be tricky but give yourself the best chance to win contracts by taking advantage of BITEs services. Above all prepare carefully for any interview and give yourself time.
As a permanent employee you may only have a few interviews, but as a contractor you will work in many different companies and thus will attend many more interviews. BITE can assist you before your interviews and you can have follow up discussions with our expert careers advisors. Soon you will have the interview training that will give you a leading edge over other contractors!
BITE also provide other services, such as contract administration services, umbrella companies and visa support. These take care of other matters in the contracting world: being paid on time, having insurance, networking training. Remember that if you do wish to join the BITE and our happy band of contractors, you won’t have to pay any fees until you actually find a contract. To discuss fees, services and terms send in your CV for an initial interview.